Thursday 12th March 2020 16:30 GMT
The self-described "collective of biohackers" calling itself CoroHope claims to be working alongside a biologist with over a decade of relevant experience, specifically including manufacturing vaccines.
No evidence has been provided of this person's identity or qualifications, nor have any other senior members of the group identified themselves as being involved with the project.
The group, which is soliciting donations via the cryptocurrency, says it intends to develop and manufacture a plasmid DNA vaccine, an experimental type of vaccination which has only ever been approved in the US for use on animals.
This will be done completely outside of academia and without the involvement of either the pharmaceuticals industry or government regulators.
"Without tens of millions of dollars there is no viable pathway for us to obtain the normal government clearance for a clinical trial, so our vaccine's effectiveness will remain a mystery until several weeks or months after," the group claimed.
Only one person has been publicly identified with the project, Bryan Bishop, who quit just a few days after joining according to cryptocurrency new site Coin Desk, citing the potential liabilities which producing a vaccine outside of the regulated channels could involve.
Despite the group's ambitions, they acknowledge their potential vaccine would not be "adopted by the medical community in any official sense" but could be "at best, a stopgap until those clinically-trialled treatments are widely available".
Even then the group's mission document states that it "disclaims all liability and gives no guarantees or warrants" before concluding: "This should not be considered a reliable vaccine."
The group claims it would only need $10,000 for the initial stages of their research, synthesising a plasmid which would then be made available to other laboratories who wanted to investigate it.
DNA vaccines, unlike those made from parts of the actual virus, contain DNA which would produce the active antibodies in the patient to be able to fight off the virus if they were infected with it.
Trials are currently testing whether HIV and Zika virus could be treated in this manner but no medicines developed this way have been approved for use in the US.